Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tracking Thursday - Love my FitBit

When we switched our phones a couple of months ago, there was an app included in the new phone that counts your steps.  The problem with this is it will only work if you keep the phone in your pocket.  Although the S health app includes this tracking of steps, there are other benefits of the app.  It can take your heart rate by just placing a finger on the back of the phone.  There is also a way to record the calorie intake by adding daily food for each meal.  Since I started using my Fitbit which I received as a Christmas gift, there was no need to use this app to count my steps.  On the days that I don't play golf, my steps are below 5,000.  According to the instructions, you need 10,000 steps a day to make a difference.  I figured that on the days I golf, I would have double the amount of steps required per day.  As most of you know, I am not one that likes to walk around the block or go hiking or go for long walks.  But when it comes to walking the golf course, I am there.  Unless the course is only mandatory cart, then I have no choice.  The way I see it, if I am walking the course three times per week which totals to about 60,000 steps then it's like I am meeting the quota of 10,000 steps per day.  And on the seventh day, I rest and don't track anything.

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My first FITBIT was pink which I lost last August.  Now I have a black one.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Worthwhile Wednesday - The lone survivor

As most of you know, I am not a gardener nor have a green thumb.  When someone gives me some sort of house plant, most of them die within weeks and maybe some might survive for a month or two.  This plant, I remember someone telling me that it's Geranium, has survived under my care.  A lady named Susan from the place I use to volunteer before gave this as a Boxing Day present on December 26, 2011.  You can see that there's flowers blooming - three of them.  This is the first time I've seen this.   I have placed a stick so the stems do not bend or break.  I guess the plant liked it that it produced more than one flower.  My sister who can grow anything indoors or outdoors could not believe how healthy this plant has become and was very surprised that I haven't killed it.  I have added another pot of some sort of succulent that I'm going to take care of.  It's worthwhile keeping plants indoors because they are protected from critters.  I'll keep you posted on the growth of this one.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trying Tuesday - More pretty flowers

The weather seems to be getting warmer and even hotter which makes us think of summer. Although we have been so disappointed about some of the flowers and plants that Jeff has been adding to our front and back yard, we would still like to have the areas looking good by summertime.  So here we go again, last weekend we stopped by Home Depot as they had some good deals on perennials.  Somehow we got a little excited and purchased more that we were planning.  Jeff will definitely be busy this weekend planting all of these new additions. What we are really hoping for is that they survive without being eaten or ruined by the critters around our yard.  Last night Jeff advised that the several squash plants are all gone. They did not even get a chance to grow as he only planted them two weeks ago.  I love harvesting the vegetables that Jeff grows but unfortunately he is getting very disappointed. First the squirrels, then the snails and now he is not sure what is eating all the edible plants.

White Azalea


Lavender and some red flowers

Non flowering bush but nice green and yellow leaves

Orange roses

Some pretty white flowers

Yellow rose - to show my southern belle Sue who is visiting next month.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friendless Friday - Out of sight-out of mind

Another four months and I would have been here in San Jose, CA for five years.  Time is just flying by when you are busy and enjoying life.  But even though I am enjoying life with Jeff, I miss my daughter and of course my friends.  One thing that is so true about leaving your friends behind is that expression out of sight - out mind.  Someone told me once that I am really great at keeping in touch with friends and that's what makes the friendship last.  But now that everyone is getting a little older and set in their ways, I am finding out that everyone is just living their life and it's sad but my friends are starting to just fade away one by one.  During my first year here I was getting a lot of emails, etc. The second year was still OK and by the third year it was only a few handful that kept in touch.  I truly understand and I am not complaining.  It's just the fact of life that when you move away you will definitely lose some friends because it's just difficult to keep in touch and it's not the same. It doesn't mean that the friendship is gone, it's really just a break and maybe someday we will all reconnect.  

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tiny Thursday - Very small homes

Are you a fan of the Tiny House Nation?  Have you see how small these homes are?  Would you be able to live in one?  Jeff and I have been watching this show and the more we see some of these homes, the more we are convinced that we might be able to live in one of these later in life.  The most important part about living in a tiny house is location.  I know I can live with a small kitchen, living room and bedroom.  The bathroom has to have a stand up shower and I would like a regular toilet not a potty.  I would also like to have a wrap around deck.  As for getting rid of a lot of things we own to fit into the tiny house, if this is your second home, then you just keep the basics for this and the rest stays in the first home.  Here's some of the photos that I found and some of the plans that I like.  The only problem with this type of living is that there is no room for guests. 

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waterless Wednesday - No rain in the forecast

Due to the lack of rain we have been trying to really save water the best way we can.  If you have been to our home you would have remembered those ugly looking shaped containers that collects water from the gutters.  These containers hold the rain which Jeff uses to water our plants in the backyard.  Since we have had any rain for a while, all those containers are almost empty.  So Jeff had another idea.  He asked me to buy a bucket with a lid.  I was not sure where he was going with this.  In the morning when he takes a shower he places the bucket so it collects the cold water that comes from the spout before it turns into hot water for his shower.  He uses the water that he collects from this to water the plants in the morning.  Then I will do the same when I take my shower and he will save this water in our barrel to be use next time.  When you think of how much water is wasted while waiting for it to get hot before you start your shower, then you really start getting creative.  The flowers in the backyard are not looking wilted because they are getting watered from Jeff's idea.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Testing Tuesday - Annual blood work

After many years of getting my blood work every three months while I was living in Canada, it's a bit of a change to only do them once a year.  I guess that's the medical in the  US, definitely different and definitely more expensive.  In the beginning it was really a surprise for me to have to pay every time I see a doctor, or a specialist or any kind of services.  This year is the first time I am getting my blood work where I did not need to fast.  Being a diabetic that's a little difficult and inconvenience specially when you have to line up very early in the morning if you want to ensure you are seen by the lab within half an hour.  This week I received a letter from my doctor instructing me to get some lab work done.  I look at my watch and it was the perfect time to go when the Lab is not so busy.  There was still a line but not as long and I was out within half an hour.  The only benefit about the medical we are covered now is that you get to see the result online the very next day.  You can see the past results and compare to the current one.  It also includes some graphs and explanations.  The other benefit is that I can email my doctor, book appointments online and order my prescriptions online and have it shipped to my home.  No line ups, no time wasted looking for parking spot, and no funny smell in the waiting room.  Sorry, I had to mention that.  It seems like every time I go to my appointments or the pharmacy or the Lab, there's always some funky smell.  One of the good benefit of doing blood work annually.  Even after all of these benefits, I still miss my OHIP.  Maybe someday we can move back and OHIP will let me have my own card.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sweet Sunday - Chewy and nutty

There are certain things treats that reminds me of where I was and what I was doing.  The other day while tidying up my collection of pieces of paper of written recipes, I saw this one that my sister gave me and we actually made it while she was here.  It was so gooey, chewy and nutty.  It's called Puff Wheat Squares which is very similar to rice crispy squares but better and yummier (is this actually a word).  Anyway while shopping one day I finally found this right kind of puff wheat to use for the recipe.  When I got home I couldn't wait to make it so I did.  It was gone in a couple of days but I did not eat all of it because I shared with my friends at the golf course.  After seeing this photo again I am contemplating on going back to the store and getting more puff wheat.  The good benefit of making your own is that I cut down on the amount of sweet (sugar, syrup, etc) so I don't feel guilty when I eat them.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Succulent Saturday - Only survivor

As most of you know the California drought is really making it difficult to make our yard look decent.  In addition to the drought we have those annoying critters like squirrels and snails that are just destroying whatever Jeff plants.  I am actually getting tired of spending money on buying new plants/flowers for our front and back yard.  To date the plants that are still surviving are the succulents.  Some are not doing well but at least they are not being destroyed by the critters.  These are what's left.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Walkabout Wednesday - Master Gardener sale

Our friends asked if we want to check out the Master Gardener plants and flower sale this weekend.  Since we had nothing planned we joined them and did our walk about the area.  We started around 1030 and stayed for three hours.  There were a lot of tables of starters for flowers, vegetables and herbs.  Around noon we checked out the food truck that was around the park.  There were five and if I remembered everything there were Sliders, asian fusion, mexican, mediterranean, ice cream and cookies.  Jeff and I tried the Sliders truck while our friends tried a burrito and a falafel.  After checking out all the tables, Jeff ended with three little starters and our friends got only one.  There was also some experts that were giving some information about several topics.  I decided to check out some of the flowers around the area and took photos.

Orange Poppy

The El Camino Bell

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Treats Tuesday - Belated Easter

I forgot to share with my readers what I got from my MIL for Easter.  You know how thoughtful she is and she always gets me little surprises here and there.  So when we went to have Easter dinner at her home last weekend, she gave us a basket.  There were some treats for Jeff and some for me.  This is what we got and notice the cute stuff animal.

Most of this will be for Jeff except one of the chocolate eggs that's sugar free.

My MIL bought this because she recalls this name.  This is actually what my daughter's nephews and nieces call me.
As for my Easter gift to myself, Jeff ordered a new golf driver for me.  I love the color and read all the great reviews about it.  It matches my set and I love the color.

Cobra Women's Amp Cell Driver (Green, Right Hand, Graphite, Ladies)


Monday, April 13, 2015

Magical Monday - Jordan Spieth

Congratulations to Jordan for winning the green jacket yesterday.  It was an amazing four days for him and it was so joyful to see how he took each day and make some magic.  Everything about him is just so pleasant.  From the interviews before and after each round as well as his interaction with other golfers, his caddy and the fans.  All the specific records that he broke at the very young age of 21.  He is one of those guys that is so likeable.  You can tell how his family just adores him.  I wish him luck for the rest of this years tour and I look forward to many more exciting rounds.  Keep it up and stay cool.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Favorites Friday - The Masters

For the next three days most avid golfers and fans will be glued to the best tournament in golf.  Because Tiger Woods decided to come back for this tournament, the fans are really looking forward to his round.  After watching yesterdays first round, I am not sure he is ready to come back.  Maybe he really has lost his mojo as they say.  He seems to be very unhappy with most of his swings.  Anyway I thought I would share who are my favorites for this years Masters.  In no particular order, I just like watching these guys because they are good and they are fun to watch.
  • Jordan Speith
  • Bubba Watson
  • Ricky Fowler
  • Jason Day
  • Ryan Moore
  • Steve Stricker
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Adam Scott
  • Trevor Immelman
  • Keegan Bradley
Good luck to all my favorites and I hope that one of them wins and at least five are in the top ten.  I have recorded each round and have added extra hour on the final round, just in case.

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My favorite hole even though I have only seen it on TV.  Maybe someday I will get a chance to see it as a fan.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Worthy Wednesday - Stop and smell the roses

Remember those days when you couldn't just take a photo of something that you like or something so pretty you have to stop and take a closer look.  This is when I really enjoy having a cell phone that has a great camera feature.  When I am out and about and I see certain thing that I wan to capture, the handy phone takes very good photos.  After playing tennis last Sunday, I decided to go around the park and take some of the pretty flowers that was worthy of being photograph.  Now I am sharing them with my readers specially those who loves gardening.  I was going to make a virtual bouquet of flowers for Easter but  I'm a little late.  You can still enjoy them because they are not wilted.  


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Simple but yummy

Just realized that I have not posted anything for a few days maybe even a week.  I guess my weeks have been really busy.  Sometimes days are just going too fast and I haven't had the time to sit down and share some of whatever it is that I am up to.  Last night we decided to have a simple dinner.  I marinated chicken thighs (no skin no bones) and Jeff did the cooking or grilling.  While he was outdoor, I was doing the real cooking indoors.  To accompany the chicken I made some garlic noodles with vegetables.  Every now and then we get some really nice pineapple and put them also on the grill.  The other photo is just an extra one from the weekend.  Sometimes the simplest meal is just as tasty.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Weekly Wednesday - List of Chores

Happy April's Fools.  Nothing special happened today just like any other day so I decided to post about my weekly chores.  I know it's boring but it might remind you to do your own list of weekly chores.  During the week there are chores that needs to get done but it does not have to be a specific day.  I do them when needed or when I am not at  golf, volunteer or MIL day.  Last week the ironing pile was getting a little high so I tackled it within a couple of hours.

There are other things on my weekly list like sweeping/vacuum, dusting, bathroom cleaning, and some kitchen organizing (including the fridge).  Like most households, there's also paper filling (I do them for Jeff) and paying bills.  I have added blogging as part of my weekly chores because if I don't add to the list, then I forget and my readers have nothing to check.  Last week when I took my MIL grocery shopping we found a new item on the soft drink aisle.  We thought we would buy it and try it.  The result is just ok.

It's only 90 calories.  It is sweetened with sugar cane and stuvia. 
My MIL recently received a package from her daughter who is living in Tennessee.  As you know my MIL loves anything with lady bug.  Let me show you what her daughter sent her.

Lady Bug Truffles.  They look so perfect it's hard to eat the.  BTW, there's no lady bug inside, just truffles.